How Board Pressing Can Help You Bench Press More Weight
Rip a page out of the bodybuilding handbook during your next chest day. Grab a stack of two-by-fours and place them on your chest as you bench press.
The purpose: to break through plateaus and build strength at your weakest points, says Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour.
By bringing the bar down to the planks instead of all the way to your chest, you effectively shorten the distance the weight has to travel, he says. This allows you to lift heavier loads since you don’t have to press the bar as far.
You can also zero in on sticking points, which are the most difficult portions of the exercise, says Gaddour. If you find the bar falters at the bottom or middle of your press, use one to three boards at a time. For more lockout work at the top of the press, opt for four to five boards.
Gaddour demonstrates the technique in the video above. He uses a product called Bench Blokz since they attach directly to the barbell. If you don’t have access to them, use two-by-fours like the classic bodybuilders—but make sure a partner holds the boards in place.